Thích Nhất Hạnh is a Vietnamese Zen Buddhist monk, teacher, author, poet and peace activist. He travels internationally giving retreats and talks and has published more than 100 books. He is active in the peace movement, promoting non-violent solutions to conflict.

Here are 25 Life Changing Lessons from Thích Nhất Hạnh:

“Fear keeps us focused on the past or worried about the future. If we can acknowledge our fear, we can realize that right now we are okay. Right now, today, we are still alive, and our bodies are working marvellously. Our eyes can still see the beautiful sky. Our ears can still hear the voices of our loved ones.”

“When another person makes you suffer, it is because he suffers deeply within himself, and his suffering is spilling over. He does not need punishment; he needs help. That’s the message he is sending.”

“You do not need to waste your time doing those things that are unnecessary and trifling. You do not have to be rich. You do not need to seek fame or power. What you need is freedom, solidity, peace and joy. You need the time and energy to be able to share these things with others.”

“Buddhism teaches that joy and happiness arise from letting go. Please sit down and take an inventory of your life. There are things you’ve been hanging on to that really are not useful and deprive you of your freedom. Find the courage to let them go.”

“The best way to take care of the future is to take care of the present moment.”

“The essence of love and compassion is understanding, the ability to recognize the physical, material, and psychological suffering of others, to put ourselves “inside the skin” of the other.  We “go inside” their body, feelings, and mental formations, and witness for ourselves their suffering.  Shallow observation as an outsider is not enough to see their suffering.  We must become one with the subject of our observation.  When we are in contact with another’s suffering, a feeling of compassion is born in us. Compassion means, literally, “to suffer with.””

“Walk as if you are kissing the Earth with your feet.”

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

“The present moment is filled with joy and happiness. If you are attentive, you will see it.”

“When a person’s speech is full of anger, it is because he or she suffers deeply.”

“If we take something to be the truth, we may cling to it so much that when the truth comes and knocks on our door, we won’t want to let it in.”

“We really have to understand the person we want to love. If our love is only a will to possess, it is not love. If we only think of ourselves, if we know only our own needs and ignore the needs of the other person, we cannot love.”

“Suffering has many faces. If we discover the roots of one suffering, we are at the same time discovering the roots of others.”

“Many people think excitement is happiness… But when you are excited you are not peaceful. True happiness is based on peace.”

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”

Source: Wikipedia

Source: Wikipedia

“When you hold a child in your arms, or hug your mother, or your husband, or your friend, if you breathe in and out three times, your happiness will be multiplied at least tenfold.”

“People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?”

“Because you are alive, everything is possible.”

“This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.”

“To be or not to be, that is not a question, because reality transcends both notions of birth and death, of being and non-being.”

“So if we love someone, we should train in being able to listen. By listening with calm and understanding, we can ease the suffering of another person.”

“My actions are my only true belongings.”

“Each minute we spend worrying about the future and regretting the past is a minute we miss in our appointment with life- a missed opportunity to engage life and to see that each moment gives us the chance to change for the better, to experience peace and joy.”

“Suffering is not enough. Life is both dreadful and wonderful… How can I smile when I am filled with so much sorrow? It is natural – you need to smile to your sorrow because you are more than your sorrow.”

“The moment you wake up, right away, you can smile. That’s a smile of enlightenment. You are aware that a new day is beginning, that life is offering you twenty-four brand-new hours to live, and that that’s the most precious of gifts.”

“Words sometimes get sick and we have to heal them.”

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